Niyura Jasso (LL.M. '22), who will graduate in Autumn 2022, was determined to study law after witnessing injustices in her home country of Mexico. Her passion for advocating for human rights issues continued to grow after completing a Bachelor of Laws degree. Upon moving to the United States, Jasso knew she needed to earn a Master of Laws degree in order to sit for the state bar.

After surveying law schools across the country, she chose UW Law's Sustainable International Development program. As a student, she participated in two externships with nonprofit organizations, including the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. Her classmates’ valuable insights into their own countries’ legal systems helped enhance her learning.

As we catch up with Jasso, she's excited to see where her career path takes her following her final quarter in the Sustainable International Development program.

Watch along to learn more about her story and how she plans to make an impact on the world.


Read the Transcript

I was born and raised in Mexico, where I studied law at my hometown’s university. I decided to go to law school because I was frustrated for the systematic injustices that I grew up seeing. When I moved to the U.S., I wanted to find a way to continue. Because my career is in a very early stage, I decided that the Sustainable International Development program was the best option for me because it would teach me about the American legal system. But also it would give me the tools to work at a nonprofit organization in an international setting.

Northwest Immigrant Rights Project is a nonprofit organization that serves, that strives for justice for all—everyone—regardless of where they were born. We get to see cases of clients who have been through removal or asylum cases, cases that have been in the making for maybe 20 years. We have the opportunity to finally help them to get citizenship. And that means that they, after so many years, are going to receive some entitlement to stay in the U.S. As an immigrant, I can reflect myself in the clients. I understand the struggles with the language. With the idea they want to be their best person.

All my classmates have a different passion. They are from different backgrounds, different countries, and just the conversations with them have been so insightful. For example, one person she is focused on advocating for animal rights. Someone else is focusing on development, human trafficking, human rights issues like me, but each one of us are connected. We are all connected, because we are all working towards having a positive impact in the world.

I did an externship at Global Rights Advocacy during the winter. I think that was the first time I realized how much of an impact a single person can have in the society. I was able to join meetings with foreign governments. I was able to talk and interview witness from very important cases. I think that having the opportunity to work in international human rights issues made me feel empowered, and maybe I cannot change the whole system. But if I change something, and it has a positive impact in someone else's life, I think it was worth it.